Dining at Walt Disney World ® - The Definitive Guide

Make every minute & every dollar of your Disney vacation count!

Dining at Walt Disney World ® should be a magical experience, but when choosing from over 300 on property dining choices, it can be overwhelming. That is why “Dining at Walt Disney World ® – The Definitive Guide “ was created

Inside these pages you will find in-depth advice including:

  • Detailed descriptions of every Disney dining venue
  • Understanding and receiving the best value from the Disney Dining Plan
  • How to snag hard-to-get dining reservations
  • Saving time and money while dining
  • What are the “must do ” character meals?
  • Disney Dining.com exclusive Picks and Tips

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I may have been called a coffee snob on one or two or….a lot of occasions in my life. I like my coffee. But I like it perfect: strong, dark, not too sweet, not too milky. For a while, there weren’t a ton of good coffee options in the Disney Parks, but times have changed! From region specific, to plain hot, to sweet iced, to boozy, to dessert, Disney’s got us addicts covered. In no particular order, here are eight of the best food and drinks for coffee lovers at Walt Disney World:


8. Freshly Brewed Joffrey's Coffee® Hawaiian Kona Maragogype Press Pot

I love the Kona blend! After a quick Wikipedia search, I discovered that Maragogype is a type of a mutant Arabica coffee bean. It’s fairly rare and considered some of the best. And Disney has some! At Kona Café in the Polynesian Resort they’ll bring you a whole pot to test for yourself!

7. Starbucks Iced Coffee

To some, this might seem blasphemous. The inclusion of Starbucks on Disney property was quite the scandal when it first happened, but I was thrilled. Disney does a lot of things best, but not iced coffee. Starbucks does iced coffee best. Sometimes you just want what you know. You can find a Starbucks pretty much anywhere on property and the iced coffee is always great.

6. Chocolate Bar with Coffee Panna Cotta and Sulawesi Island Coffee

This masterpiece of a coffee combination comes to you directly from Victoria and Albert’s in The Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. The Panna Cotta generally comes in the seventh (wow) course. I’ve heard this dessert be described as “heavenly.” The Sulawesi (of Indonesian origin) Island Coffee comes in a vacuum coffee maker, which is so cool to watch!


5. Iced Irish

This one is for the over-21 coffee lovers. In the spirit of great pubs, Raglan Road in Disney Springs has a wide selection of alcoholic specialties – even coffee options! There are several boozy coffee drinks on the menu, but I’m calling out the Iced Irish: Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, butterscotch schnapps and Baileys Salted Caramel, with iced coffee and whipped cream. Sláinte!

4. Cuban Coffee

This unique drink can be found at Bongos in Disney Springs. Cuban coffee, also known as Café Cubano, is special for two specific reasons: the espresso bean is from Cuba itself, and it is brewed with demerara sugar. The result is an incredibly strong, sweet espresso shot. You can lighten it up con leche, or drink it straight - you’ll only need one!

3. Painted Ladies Espresso Escape

This is my heaven right here. The Painted Ladies Espresso Escape is an Intense Dark Chocolate Sundae from the Ghiradelli shop in Disney Springs. This sundae is packed with espresso chip ice cream, handmade dark chocolate hot fudge, whipped cream, and intense dark 72% chocolate. This is a good dessert for those who love the smell/flavor of coffee, but not coffee itself. One word: wow.

2. Viking Coffee

Here’s another boozy option. The Viking Coffee can be found in Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in the Norway pavilion in Epcot. You have to have some Viking blood to drink this one. Ironically, there is nothing Norwegian about this drink, but it’s still delicious. This coffee is doused with Kamora Coffee Liqueur and Baileys Irish Cream. Yum.

1. Press Pot with Kenyan Coffee

Kenya is such a beautiful country with such a strong, rich culture. This extends all the way to their coffee! Kenyan coffee is some of the best in the world. There’s something about Kenya’s acidic soil and average rainfall that makes the perfect coffee beans. At Boma in Animal Kingdom Lodge you can order a whole French press pot of this delicious brew!

Bonus: Cold Brew Coffee on the Disney Cruise Line Fleet

On all four Disney Cruise Line ships, you can find the coolest cold brew coffee ever. Cold brew is coffee that is brewed in cold water overnight, which intensifies the flavor. The DCL cold brew is made in a fancy, hourglass-esque contraption and available for purchase every day! Better get filling out that punch card!  - 8 Best Treats For Coffee Lovers At Walt Disney World

Dining – it seems like such a simple thing.  But at Walt Disney World, there are more dining options than any foodie could wish for!  And along with these options come many do’s and don’ts that can make or break your Disney meal experiences.  From reservations to meal planning to mobile ordering and hidden extras, here are 12 ways to avoid rookie mistakes at Disney restaurants – and maximize every meal!


1. Waiting Until the Last Minute

Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute to make dining reservations in Walt Disney World!  Guests can start booking their dining reservations 180 days before they arrive, and we definitely recommend this.  The most popular restaurants are booked well in advance, so to avoid being disappointed, snag spots for your favorites early!

2. Giving Up

If you aren’t able to reserve a spot at a coveted restaurant, don’t give up!  Occasionally, there are cancellations, so make sure you check back regularly to see if a spot has opened up that works for you.  If all else fails, you can check in at the restaurant the day you wish to dine there, and ask if there’s any way they can fit you in.  There’s no guarantee that this will work, but it’s worth a shot!

3. Not Using Mobile Ordering

More and more quick service restaurants on property offer Mobile Ordering, and it’d be a mistake not to take advantage of it!  It’s simple to use your My Disney Experience app to make your food selections and pay in advance, and then all you have to do is pick up your food once you arrive at your quick service location.  It couldn’t be easier – or faster! 


4. Not Planning for Tips

Even if you’re using the Disney Dining Plan, tips aren’t included.  It’s a good idea to budget for tips for each table service meal, as these can certainly add up during a vacation!  The service at Walt Disney World tends to be stellar, and planning ahead makes it easier to give cast members at Disney restaurants the gratuities they deserve!

5. Filling Up at One Restaurant in Epcot

One mistake that we realized the hard way in Walt Disney World’s Epcot is filling up at just one spot.  This is a definite no-no!  Epcot’s World Showcase is full of various offerings from around the globe, and many of these are available at quick service restaurants, shops, or small food booths in the various pavilions.  So dine like a pro by snacking around the Worlds and experiencing as wide a variety of deliciousness as possible!

6. Failing to Plan

Eating at Walt Disney World is a bit of a science, and it’s imperative to plan out your meals throughout your vacation to avoid some common pitfalls.  Make sure that you plan to dine in the same area that you have a FastPass+ or a show, to avoid running all over the park and potentially missing either a reservation or a FastPass+.  If you’re dining at a buffet for a late lunch, don’t schedule a sit-down dinner for a few hours later – we can guarantee you won’t be hungry!  Try booking a reservation at a restaurant on the parade route for the same time that the parade goes by, and ask for a patio table so you can watch the parade from your table.  It’s all about planning!

7. Forgetting About Fireworks

When making your dining reservations, don’t forget about the nightly fireworks at Walt Disney World theme parks!  If you time your dining reservation just right, and choose a restaurant with the right view, you could find yourself being serenaded by a fireworks show while you dine.  Try Cinderella’s Royal Table, California Grill, Narcoossee’s, and Spice Road Table for some great fireworks views.

8. Not Checking Menus in Advance

Menus for all of Walt Disney World’s restaurants, even snack booths and quick service restaurants, are online.  It’s a good idea to peruse these before making your dining reservations, to make sure there’s something for everyone in your party.  Plus, it’s just plain fun to discover the mouth-watering selections awaiting you during your vacation!

9. Assuming the Menu is the Final Word

If you have made the mistake listed above, and find yourself at a restaurant that doesn’t have much to offer to a member of your party, don’t worry!  In addition to the posted menu, Walt Disney World restaurants typically have other dishes for vegetarians or those with dietary restrictions that aren’t always listed on the menu.  So if you don’t see something that works, don’t be afraid to talk to your wait staff to see if they can bring you something else!

10. Hitting All the Buffets

Ok, so you’ll probably want to hit a character buffet for the experience, and it can definitely be fun having Disney characters visit your table to pose for photos and sign autographs.  But these meals are much more expensive than other meals in Walt Disney World, and as a result, guests often stuff themselves to make sure they’re getting their money’s worth.  To save money, and save your appetite for other exciting dining options later in the day, we’d recommend minimizing your buffet reservations while in WDW.

11. Buying Water Bottles

This is a mistake we admittedly have made many times at quick service restaurants.  But on a recent Disney vacation, a cast member tipped us off to the fact that every quick service restaurant on property will provide guests with ice water in cups, for free – even if you’re not ordering anything else!  This can be a life saver on a hot Florida day, and it will save you a lot of money over the course of a vacation.

12. Playing it Safe

It’s possible to stick to comfort food while vacationing in Walt Disney World, but eating only familiar food at Disney restaurants is definitely a mistake in our books!  There’s a fantastically wide array of food available at every theme park and resort, and it would be a shame not to try as many as possible.  We love the Moroccan ambiance and authentic food at Restaurant Marrakesh, while Yak and Yeti will make you feel like you’ve stepped into a restaurant in the Himalayas; Animal Kingdom Lodge has plenty of options with African offerings, and don’t forget Disney Springs, where a world of food awaits! - 12 Rookie Mistakes Made At Walt Disney World Restaurants

Guests who visit Walt Disney World are sure to have an amazing vacation from the very first experience to the final glimpse of Cinderella Castle. Days spent on property are filled from sun up to sun down with wonderful experiences that include attractions, entertainment, shopping, recreation, and more. One of the best things that guests love to enjoy are dining experiences including some special adult beverages that help them relax. One of the best locations to visit in terms of delicious beverages is Epcot’s World Showcase which is home to eleven different pavilions which each celebrate a country from around the world through culture, history, attractions, and dining. Each pavilion offers up unique and wonderful flavors that guests can enjoy through specialty beverages. From the flavors of Mexico to the traditional cuisine of Japan, there is something for every guest to sip and enjoy in Epcot. Here are eleven must try beverages from each pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase.


1. Mexico: Blood Orange Margarita @ La Cava del Tequila

The Mexico Pavilion is home to a beautiful ancient pyramid that hosts a vibrant marketplace and small eatery that is home to dozens of types of tequila. Le Cava del Tequila is a charming and inviting spot that serves up specialty drinks and small bites. While all of the options are delicious, one of the most popular specialty beverages is the Blood Orange Margarita which features tequila, orange liqueur, blood orange juice, and wild berry foam and is served on the rocks with a Tajin chili powder on the rim.

2. Norway: Viking Coffee @ Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe

The Norway Pavilion is one of the most charming in World Showcase and invites guests to explore a quaint town filled with shopping, unique architecture, the popular attraction Frozen Ever After, and a delicious bakery. Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe serves up traditional Norwegian sandwiches and pastries as well as a delicious beverage that guests love to sip on at the location’s open air patio. Viking Coffee combines traditional coffee with Kamora Coffee Liqueur and Bailey’s Irish Cream for a warm and indulgent beverage.

3. China: Mango Gingerita @ Joy of Tea

Guests who are looking to truly feel as though they have traveled to another country will love the immerse experience of walking through the China Pavilion and enjoying shopping, beautiful architecture, and delicious food. The Joy of Tea stand can be found near the front of the pavilion on the shores of World Showcase Lagoon and serves up small bites, ice cream, and several beverages. Guests who are looking to enjoy a unique adult beverage can sip on the Mango Gingerita which features vodka and light rum.


4. Germany: Altenmunster Oktoberfest @ Sommerfest

One of the busiest pavilions n World Showcase is the Germany Pavilion thanks to its charming courtyard filled with shops, beautiful details, and several dining options. In the rear of the pavilion is the quick service location Sommerfest which offers up authentic German cuisine on the go. In addition to amazing options such as Nudel Gratin and Black Forest Cake, guests can choose from several delicious beer options including the popular Altnmunster Oktoberfest.

5. Italy: Limoncello Mule @ Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria

The Italy Pavilion is home to several full service dining locations that offer guests the opportunity to dine on authentic Italian cuisine from all over the country. The rear of the pavilion is home to Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria which is well known for its wood fire pizzas in addition to its delicious beverages. Guests can sip on the popular Limoncello Mule which combines vodka, orangecello, orange juice, and pineapple juiced served over shaved ice.

6. America: Frozen Red Stag Lemonade @ Fife & Drum Tavern

The host pavilion of World Showcase is the America Pavilion and is it centrally located on World Showcase Lagoon. The pavilion is home to sever quick service dining locations that offer up traditional American cuisine with patriotic names. Guests who stop by the Fife & Drum Tavern can sip on the delicious Frozen Red Stag Lemonade which combines frozen lemonade with Red Stag Black Cherry Bourbon.

7. Japan: Violet Silk Martini @ Teppan Edo

The Japan Pavilion in World Showcase is a favorite of many guests thanks to its amazing dining options that allow guests to sample many different flavors and tastes of Japan. One of the most popular dining locations is Teppan Edo which guests love thanks to the cooking happening right on the table in front of them. In addition to the delicious cuisine, guests can sip on the Violet Silk Martini which features vodka shaken with purple pear and lime juice.

8. Morocco: Casablanca Sunset @ Restaurant Marrakesh

The Morocco Pavilion is a favorite of many guests thanks to its truly immerse experience that makes them feel as though they are wandering the streets of a Moroccan village and shopping in their local market stalls. The pavilion is also home to the delicious Restaurant Marrakesh which serves traditional Moroccan cuisine with live entertainment. Guests will love enjoying their meals while also sipping on the Casablanca Sunset which combines Apricot Brandy, orange juice, cranberry juice, and Peach Schnapps.

9. France: Orange Slush Les Vins des @ Chefs de France

Guests who spend time in the France Pavilion are sure to feel charmed by the quaint streets, shopping locations, fountains, and Eiffel Tower in the distance. While there are several quick service and full service locations to enjoy in the France Pavilion, guess especially love to stop by Les Vins des Chefs de France cart near the shores of World Showcase Lagoon. There guests can order the delicious Orange Slush which combines Grand Marnier, Rum, Grey Goose Orange, and orange juice for a refreshing and wonderful option.

10. United Kingdom: Leaping Leprechaun @ Rose & Crown Dining Room

One of the liveliest locations in World Showcase can be found in the front of the UK Pavilion right up against World Showcase Lagoon. Rose & Crown Dining Room invites guests to dine on traditional British pub fare while enjoying a vibrant and welcoming environment. While dining on classics like Bangers and Mash, guests can also sip on a delicious cocktail called the Leaping Leprechaun. This wonderful options features Jameson Irish Whiskey, Don Q Cristal Rum, Skyy Vodka, Melon Liqueur, sweet-n-sour, and sprite to make for a truly unique beverage.

11. Canada: Blueberry Ice Wine Martini @ Le Cellier Steakhouse

The Canada Pavilion is home to a delicious full service dining location that is so popular that reservations are often hard to come by. Le Cellier Steakhouse offers up a cozy wine cellar inspired atmosphere where guests can dine on steakhouse classics infused with the flavors of Canada. While enjoying the food, guests can also sip on the delicious Blueberry Ice Wine Martini which features Dillon’s Small Batch Vodka, Chateau des Charmes Vidal, and muddled blueberries. - 11 Must Try Beverages From Each Pavilion Around Epcot’s World Showcase At Walt Disney World

I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream!  And few things are more fun and refreshing on a warm Florida day at Walt Disney World than an ice cream treat.  Throughout all of the parks there are so many options to enjoy, it is too bad you can’t survive on ice cream alone!  Here are my picks for the top 10 flavors:


10. The Iconic Mickey Bar

I have a good friend who would shun me from our Disney circle if I did not mention the iconic Mickey Bar.  While in the past I have said this is overrated, comparing it to any of the chocolate covered vanilla ice cream bars you can find in your grocer’s freezer, and technically not an ice cream flavor, I have to admit that no trip is complete without having one of these.  You can find the Mickey Bar at the rolling carts in any of the parks, as well as in most of the resorts at their quick service/grab-n-go locations.

9. The Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich

Friends, I am not talking about your run of the mill ice cream sandwich here, or the Mickey shaped ones that come in the carts with the Mickey Bars.  I’m talking about homemade cookies encasing your preferred ice cream flavor creating a ginormous, sometimes hard to eat indulgence that is oh, so good.  You can find these creations at a few places in Walt Disney World including the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Scoops in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.  To tie it back into the flavor theme, I prefer my sandwich with mint chocolate chip ice cream and chocolate chip cookies.

8. Strawberry Red Bean

I love eating and snacking around the world at Epcot’s World Showcase.  If you are looking for a more unusual (yet still familiar) treat stop in at the Joy of Tea in China for the Strawberry Red Bean ice cream.  You still have the sweetness of the strawberry, but a bit more unusual take on it.  And if you are really hungry you can get this ice cream as your dessert in the fantastically priced Lucky Combo.


7. Stracciatella Gelato

One of the many delicious places to find dessert at Disney Springs is Vivoli Il Gelato, and there are multiple flavors there to tempt your taste buds.  The Stracciatella is a Milk Base with chunks of Italian Dark Chocolate . . . yummmm!  Other flavors include a brandied sweet cherry, coconut, Italian chocolate, and pistachio.

6. Ghirardelli Chocolate

The beacon for chocolate lovers in Disney Springs’ Marketplace is Ghirardelli, and the chocolate ice cream served there does not disappoint.  They offer many different sundae and shake combinations, but nothing is quite as comforting as a delicious scoop of chocolate ice cream, served in a chocolate dipped waffle cone of course!  Ghirardelli offers other ice cream flavors as well (including espresso chip) if chocolate is not your thing.

5. Peanut Butter Wins the Cup

This flavor is found at my current favorite Walt Disney World ice creamery, Ample Hills Creamery on Disney’s Boardwalk.  I love the décor of the restaurant, the atmosphere sitting out on the Boardwalk with my ice cream, the smell in the shop . . . and definitely love the ice cream.   Who can turn down the combination of peanut butter & chocolate?  Not this girl.  This version is Vanilla Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Chocolate flakes and House-made Peanut Butter Cups.  Did you see that HOUSE-MADE peanut butter cups??

4. The No Way Jose

Continuing the over-the-top peanut butter and chocolate combinations, let’s walk over to the Beach Club for Beaches & Cream’s famous No Way Jose Sundae.  Again, not technically an ice cream flavor, but I really can’t leave this off my list.  The No Way Jose has Chocolate and Vanilla Ice Cream, Peanut Butter and Chocolate Morsels, Whipped Cream, and a Cherry.  Of course, if you are a little hungrier you could always opt for the Kitchen Sink.

3. Chocolate Milk and Cookies

Back over to Ample Hills for another one of my favorites, the Chocolate Milk & Cookies.  This is Ample Hills’ take on a cookies & cream ice cream:  Creamy Milk Chocolate Ice Cream with Pieces of Back-To-Nature Sandwich Creme Cookies . . . but kicked up a notch.

2. Cinnamon with Caramelized Apple and Crumble Crunch

Another favorite World Showcase stop for dessert (& there are many) is L’Artisan des Glaces in France.  This adorable little shop makes me feel like I am in France, and it is always crowded so expect to wait in line for a few minutes.  There are so many things to love here including the Croque Glace (a scoop of ice cream pressed inside warm brioche bread), the Macaron Ice Cream Sandwich, and the Ice Cream Martini.  There are several unique flavors here that I really enjoy like the milk chocolate and orange, but my favorite I the Cinnamon with Caramelized Apple and Crumble Crunch—it is like a pastry in an ice cream.

1. Ooey Gooey Butter Cake

My {current} favorite, must have, go-to ice cream at Walt Disney World is the Ooey Gooey Butter Cake found at Ample Hills Creamery.  It is so delicious with a great blend of textures:  creamy Vanilla Ice Cream made with Cream Cheese and gobs of House-made St. Louis-Style Ooey Gooey Butter Cake.   Anything with cream cheese in it has got to be good.  I am counting down my days until the next time I can have it!  As you may have noticed, Ample Hills has a ton of fun and delicious ice cream flavors that made my list (and the offer many more).  Luckily for all of us the folks at Ample Hills realize this and offer an Ice Cream flight where you can pick up to 6 flavors to sample as mini scoops—and they come in an adorable package.

What is your favorite flavor of Ice Cream at Walt Disney World? - 10 Best Ice Cream Flavors At Walt Disney World

One of Magic Kingdom’s best-kept dining secrets is nestled all the way back in Liberty Square. Liberty Tree Tavern is a table-service restaurant situated right next to the Liberty Tree itself. This eatery is one of those places you’ll try once and then find yourself returning to over and over again. Obviously, we think quite highly of this Magic Kingdom food stop, and we truly think you will too. Here are 8 awesome things you’ll definitely love about Liberty Tree Tavern should you choose to visit on your next trip.


1. Amazing Theme

Perhaps the best thing about this restaurant is the incredible theme that, in Disney fashion, is consistent throughout. From the clothes of the staff to the pictures on the walls, everything will take you on a time travel adventure to the Revolutionary War era. Not only is this entertaining, it’s actual pretty educational too, making it a win-win for everyone.

2. Special Touches

This is a Disney eatery, and that means it has all the special extras you might expect. The usual touches such as birthday surprises are here of course, but you’ll find there are some more unique details to notice as well. For instance, the host calls out each family’s name and where they hail from before taking them to their table. You might also notice that each room is themed after a famous figure from the late 1700s. Look at the photos in your dining room to see if you can figure out which person your room is themed after.

3. Family-Style Dining

While lunch is served as individual meals, dinner at this restaurant is served family-style. This means all food is brought out on a giant platter for the entire table to share. Diners can pick and choose what they want, but considering how wonderful each item is, you’ll definitely want a little bit of everything. Luckily, you can get more of anything you like, making this an all-you-can-eat dinner stop.


4. Affordable Lunches

Of course, an all-you-can-eat meal comes with all-you-can-eat prices. Therefore, if you’re looking to save a bit of money, you may want to visit during lunchtime when individual meals are served. Not only are these individual meals less expensive than the family-style dinner, but many are actually cheaper than many other table-service options. This fact makes Liberty Tree Tavern lunch a great option for guests on a budget.

5. Classic Comfort Food

The menu at Liberty Tree Tavern includes a variety of amazing comfort foods such as pot roast and roast turkey. Mashed potatoes, dressing, and cranberry sauce are all available as well, as are soups and tasty salads. All of these foods come together to create a homestyle meal you’re sure to love in the midst of your vacation otherwise full of chicken nuggets and burgers.

6. Incredible Desserts

Good comfort food deserves a perfect dessert. Luckily, Liberty Tree Tavern has you covered. The dessert menu at this Magic Kingdom food spot is limited but delicious. Our current favorites are the Boston Cream Pie and the Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake. Both are well worth the calories. (And hey, that’s what all that walking around the park is for, right?)

7. Great Location

Sure, this restaurant is nestled in the back of the park, but that’s actually a good thing when you’re looking for a place to eat a midday meal. After all, when it’s halfway through the day you’ll likely be about halfway through the park, and Liberty Square is very near the halfway point. That makes this eatery a great place for a late lunch!

8. Easy Reservations

Despite the fact that it’s absolutely delicious and incredibly well-themed, Liberty Tree Tavern is not as popular as you might think. This is actually a good thing though. You see, while other Disney-goers are fighting over reservations to eat with princesses, you can easily snag up a table at Liberty Tree pretty late in the game. In fact, it’s often possible to get a table at this restaurant the day of your visit. That said, holidays and other busy days do fill up quickly, and it's always a good idea to have a reservation just in case.

Clearly, Liberty Tree Tavern is well worth a visit. Why not give it a try on your next trip to Disney World? We promise you won’t regret it! - 8 Things You’ll Love About Liberty Tree Tavern At Walt Disney World